University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law alumna Kate Conyers will be among those honored this year by the U Alumni Association at the annual Founders Day banquet.
Conyers, a public defender who graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2008, will be honored as a Distinguished Alumna by the U at the Little America Hotel on March 8.
Others honored this year include: Skip Daynes of Daynes Music; Marcia Madsen, a D.C. lawyer; and Charles Sorenson, president emeritus of Intermountain Healthcare. This year’s Honorary Alumni are Sam and Diane Stewart, of the Stewart Family Foundation. The Founders Day awards for distinguished and honorary alumni are among the highest honors from the University of Utah, alongside only honorary doctorates.
The Alumni Association will also recognize undergraduate Brenda Ramirez as the 2018 Founders Day Scholarship recipient. The $8,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has overcome difficult life circumstances or challenges and has served the U and the community.
Founders Day is an annual event that commemorates the founding of the University of Utah on Feb. 28, 1850.
About the Distinguished Alumnus/a Awards:
Kate Conyers B.A. ’03 J.D. ’08 MPA’08 excels in public service as a felony attorney at the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association, where since 2011 she has represented hundreds of indigent defendants. She also provides extensive pro bono work, including spearheading the Veterans Administration Legal Clinic at the VA Hospital on the U campus.
Skip Daynes ex ’66 left the U to take over his family’s Daynes Music Company, becoming its fourth-generation leader and taking it to new heights, allowing him to widely support performing arts companies, community music festivals, major arts competitions, music classes at Title I schools in underserved areas, and more.
Marcia Madsen B.A. ’72 (J.D., Washington College of Law, and LLM, Georgetown University), a partner in the international law firm of Mayer Brown LLP and a master of government contracts and litigation, has been named to the list of Washington (D.C.)’s Top Lawyers by Washingtonian Magazine every year since 2009.
Charles Sorenson B.A. ’73 (M.D. Cornell University) is president emeritus and former CEO of Intermountain Healthcare. With Intermountain since 1982, he helped create its integrated practice of some 1,500 doctors. He is now founding director of the Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute and continues a practice focused on urologic oncology.
Sam (B.S., Northwestern; MBA and Ph.D., Stanford) and Diane Stewart (B.S., BYU) have helped bring financingto arts institutions including the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Springville Museum of Art, and more. They have also generously supported local and global education, human rights, and access to healthcare.
Founders Day Scholar:
Brenda Ramirez is a first-generation Latina undergrad and a certified phlebotomist who intends to major in nursing. In 2017, her father was deported and Brenda had to begin helping raise her little sister as her mother took over the family business. Besides her course load, additional responsibilities at home, and a job, Ramirez still finds time to volunteer. With the U’s Beacon Scholars Program, she has served meals to homeless youth — earning Project of the Year in 2017 — and she works with U Path to inspire area high school students to come to the U.